Big Weekend

It’s a big weekend, or at least an exciting weekend.  This weekend my wife and I are celebrating our anniversary at Gaucho Parrilla Argentina, a highly recommended Argentinian restaurant, in Pittsburgh.  We’ll be celebrating the past seven years of our life and how much it’s changed.  I can’t believe it’s been seven years.  During the last seven years, I lost one of the most important people in my life, my father, but I also had the amazing opportunity to welcome two of the most important people I’ll ever meet, my kids.

Overall, the last seven years have been the best of my life both personally and professionally.  I imagine we would both change a thing, or two, about the last seven years but the one thing I wouldn’t change is my family.

There are two other events going on this weekend.  The District 13 Toastmasters International Contest will take place Saturday afternoon at the District 13 Toastmasters Spring Conference.  A few weeks ago, I qualified for the contest by coming in second at the Division D contest.  I’ll be competing against seven other contestants for the opportunity to move on to the Toastmasters International Speech Competition that will be held in Washington, DC. I’m ready and excited.  It’s been a great opportunity to continue to refine a speech after presenting it multiple times. As a Toastmaster I’m used to performing a speech one time to complete the speech project in the manual and then I almost never repeat a speech a second time.  This competition process has allowed me to refine my speech by adding and removing different parts or movements.  I feel like I’ve learned a lot about my process and the kinds of techniques I can use to get my point across to an audience.

I’ll be practicing this speech twice today and tomorrow, but Friday I’m making a point to not worry about it and relax.  The important point is to simply have fun with this opportunity.  It’s a presentation I’ve given almost ten times. There is no need to stress myself out.

The last event of the weekend is something fun.  Sunday night is the premier of Season 6 of Game of Thrones.  I’m a big fan of the show. I’ll be spending Sunday night with the new Ommegang Game of Thrones themed beer and watching the premier at 9pm on HBO. If you’re on social media you’ll probably see an update like this, “All quiet in the realm! #GoTSeason6” and then I want be bothered for the next hour.

The weekend can’t come soon enough.